Christmas is a widely celebrated holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, but you might be surprised to learn that the word “Christmas” itself is not found in the Bible. In this article, we will explore the origins of Christmas and its connection to the biblical account of Jesus’ birth.
The Birth of Jesus in the Bible
The biblical account of the birth of Jesus is primarily found in the New Testament, specifically in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. These passages provide essential details about the events surrounding the birth of Jesus:
The Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:1-12): Matthew’s Gospel includes the story of the Magi or Wise Men who followed a star to find the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem. They brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to honor Him. While Matthew provides crucial information about the birth of Jesus, it does not mention the date of His birth.
The Gospel of Luke (Luke 2:1-20): Luke’s Gospel contains a more detailed account of the birth of Jesus. It describes the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus in a manger, and the announcement of His birth to shepherds by angels. This passage is often read during Christmas celebrations.
The Absence of the Term CHRISTMAS in the Bible
The term “Christmas” itself does not appear in the Bible because it is a relatively recent addition to Christian tradition. The word “Christmas” is derived from “Christ’s Mass,” which refers to a church service or liturgical celebration of the Eucharist (Holy Communion) commemorating the birth of Jesus.
The Historical Development of Christmas
The celebration of Christmas as we know it today has evolved over centuries and has been influenced by various cultural and religious traditions. Early Christians did not originally celebrate the birth of Jesus in the same way they celebrated Easter, which was a more significant focus in the early Christian calendar.
The date of December 25th was chosen by the Church as the official date to celebrate the birth of Jesus, likely in an attempt to Christianize existing pagan festivals that occurred around the winter solstice. By appropriating these dates, the Church aimed to redirect the focus of these celebrations toward the birth of Christ.
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While the word “Christmas” does not appear in the Bible, the biblical accounts in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke provide the foundation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Christmas has evolved over time into a holiday celebrated by millions around the world, blending elements of Christian faith, cultural traditions, and festive customs. It is a time for Christians to reflect on the significance of Jesus’ birth and for people of all backgrounds to come together in the spirit of love, joy, and goodwill.